Guest Post: How to book your band.


I’ve posted advice for existing and aspiring bands before, and I thought this email from a pro would be useful.  It was sparked when I saw his Facebook status the other day: “Great way to start the day: my favorite venue in the country complimented my email skills in contacting them to booking a date. It’s the highest praise I could hope for.”

The status went on to some comments & basically the author said he’d share the knowledge with those who cared to learn.  I asked if I could post it in a blog, and here we have it.  If you’re in a band on any level, pay heed to the advice below.

As far as background on Bengt, he’s in a band (& been in many), he records bands, he’s booked bands, and he’s generally been in every part of the scene.  He knows what he’s talking about.

Action Camp

Action Camp

On to the advice & the guest part of this guest post:

♪♫♩♬♩♫♪

Alright, so here is what we usually send like 99% of the time. There always a bit of customization but this is the basic format:

1. Greeting, name the booker if you know it (usually listed on indieonthemove.com or their website)

2. Band name (with a link to the website), genre, location.

3. Date(s) requested in bold. They love that, it makes it easier read. If you can swing 3-5 dates that’s best, it gives them room. Do them a favor and check the website for those dates first, they appreciate that a ton. Also make sure to follow their booking procedure to the T. A lot of places have a specific way they like to work (Facebook message, Sonicbids, email format, etc). If you do it right it shows you listened so you’re already at the top of the pile.

Also, if another band that’s played there before suggested it, tell them so. It’s like introducing yourself to anyone else and starting with saying you have a mutual friend. It’s a job reference.

4. Links to music, video, press – let them decide if they want to book you. The more you talk about how awesome you are and why you should be booked, the more they think you probably suck and are trying to gloss over it. It’s like handing someone your demo and saying it’s not your best work.

5. If you played there or in the city before tell them. If you know what you drew and stuff be honest, they love that.

6. Offer to help build the bill, and specifically name bands you know or have contacted already.

7. Thanks in advance, Thanks for your time, etc.

8. ALL of your contact info including phone numbers. It shows you are easy to reach and you have your shit together.

One final thing: DON’T say someone famous produced your record, quote random blog reviews, list facebook or twitter numbers, anything like that. No one cares about that if they know what their doing in the working touring circuit. Steve Albini producing your record won’t make 100 people come out in Dayton on a Monday night, and facebook and twitter followers are ostensibly your imaginary friends that only you can see. Plus, even you have 4,000 people odds are only 10 of them are near the venue you are trying to book.

Here is exactly what I sent to Southgate House:

Hello Morrella,

We are Action Camp, an art rock duo from Pittsburgh, PA.

We’re looking to see if you have Friday February 15th or Saturday the 16th available to book in the Revival Room – both look open on your calendar but I wasn’t sure if you would do a full house those nights. Our music is pretty different from what’s going on those nights so I’m not concerned about audience bleed over. This would be our 4th time to Southgate, 7th time in 3 years in the Cininnati/Newport scene. We know plenty of bands so we’d throw a bill together with 2 or 3 locals to help support.

– You can hear our music at actioncamp.bandcamp.com or at our website below.
– Here is a recent video from our 2012 summer tour
– And some press from our Winter tour just a couple weeks ago.

If these are unavailable I’d love to work something out in the future. Southgate was/is by far our favorite venue on tour, I can only assume the new house is great. Sincerely, I (Bengt) booked a venue in Pittsburgh, and based many of my practices on the way SGH was run by Rick and his crew.

Previous dates:

Parlour 10/1/2010 (Gallery Opening, free show, 100+ attending)
Parlour 1/2/2010 (w/ Duppy a Jamba, 97 paid)
Parlour Summer 2009 (Flux Capacitors last show, well attended, don’t have stats)

Our most recent dates in the area were both in Cincinnati:

12/8/2012 The Comet Cincinnati, OH (100+, free show)
7/5/2012 Sitwells Coffeehouse Cincinnati, OH (smaller acoustic show, last minute add on tour)

Thanks in advance, can’t wait to see the new place,

– Maura + Bengt (Action Camp)
http://www.action-camp.com
actioncamp@gmail.com
###.###.####

So that’s it, pretty simple. Just be honest and to the point. I also should point out that this was 1 of 10 venues we emailed on Christmas, and he got back just a day later with this response:

“Thanks for writing. Those dates aren’t announced yet, but they are spoken for. How about Wed Feb 13, or Sun Feb 17?

“PS – very well done email, especially listing previous show turnouts. You’re way ahead of the curve on that one, and it did persuade me to jump on this, and get you in!”

I always email every venue that would work for us in a city, it’s better to have choices than no show at all.

Hope this all helps,

– Maura + Bengt (Action Camp)
http://www.action-camp.com
actioncamp@gmail.com
###.###.####

♪♫♩♬♩♫♪

So, there you have it.  Got it?  Good.  Doing research in advance before you ask for dates seems like a no-brainer, but apparently it needs to be said.  I guess some bands naturally put more thought into stuff.

I’m not sure how you’d approach this if you had no previous gigs in an area… perhaps we can get Bengt to comment further for new bands, first time tours, etc.?

Check out the Action Camp video here:

Epi Pen Bill! (The School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act)


I haven’t written about food allergies in a while.  I would think that Epi-Man would be pleased with this post.  Check out this article about legislation being brought forth to give easier access to epinephrine auto-injectors and their administration by school staff.

EpiPens are portable epinephrine-dispensing de...

Image via Wikipedia

Read all about the The School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act at the FAAN website.

IMGP3289

Image by raindrift via Flickr

I’m not big on the gub’ment micro-managing… but how can I not get behind this?  I’d like to see something like this eventually passed for restaurants too.  Why not have one more step in keeping kids & adults safe?

Yes, the act is aimed at kids with food allergies… but us adults are out there too.  What if a teacher, administrator, janitor, nurse, or anyone else on site has a life-threatening food allergy?  This kind of thing could come in handy for all of us out there.

Keep watching the news, I hope this gets passed soon and without any political shenanigans.

Epi-men!

Epi-men!

Furniture Follow-Up and Fallout


So,did you read the couch-buying blog and see the couches?  I did get some follow up from both sides.  You can see some in the comments section of the original blog, and I’d like to share some here…

I sent this to DFW via their contact form

Comment: Hello,

I wanted to write to let you know that my wife & I had an excellent experience with store manager Matt Walker at DFW in Pittsburgh earlier this evening.  We left a Value City nearby wholly disgusted with their salesperson, and our experience at DFW was such a great relief.

I blogged about my experience here:  http://wp.me/pwqzc-y2

Please pass my praise on to Matt and his boss.  I hope that such excellent service is rewarded!

Thank you for your time,
-Eric
.seitilibasid gninrael fo nuf ekam ot ynnuf ton yllaer s’tI

(Contents of my blog below for your convenience…)

…and got this back:

From: Andrew Robinson <arobinson2255@gmail.com>
To: eric_aixelsyd@yahoo.com
Sent: Mon, April 25, 2011 8:11:15 AM
Subject: Re: Contact Form

Eric. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience. We hope you don’t mind, but we have posted a link to your blog on our Facebook page.

PS. We are giving away a FREE sectional on our facebook fan page.   http://www.facebook.com/DFWFurniture#!/DFWFurniture?sk=app_121121694568521   just “like” DFW to enter….

On Sat, Apr 23, 2011 at 1:41 AM, CustomerSupport <sales@dfwfurniture.com> wrote:

It made their Facebook page too!  They have a pretty cool blog if you’re in the market for some new furniture.

Here’s the post in question… if you follow, them please “Like” it or leave a comment:  http://www.facebook.com/DFWFurniture/posts/110773852342054

Even better, Bethany’s on their email list, and this was in her inbox today:  http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=66b31c192a78cb1962439b620&id=58954895aa&e=fed37b6f6a

Just part of the email…

…but we want to encourage  feedback and interaction from the community on Facebook.

Example : The recent story from Eric in Pittsburgh about his shopping experience at Value City Furniture vs. DFW Furniture in Pittsburgh.

We realize that advertising is always SUSPECT…But customer testimonials are PRICELESS… and credible.

How awesome is that?!  I’m famous!  Ha ha.

In all fairness, Value City did indeed reach out in the comments of the original blog, and as requested… I did follow-up:

From: Eric Carroll
To: jeremy.sipes@vcf.com
Sent: Mon, April 25, 2011
Subject: Blog about couch buyin experience…

Hello Mr. Snipes,

I’m responding to your comment on my blog.  I’m not sure what else you would need detail-wise, or any way of resolving anything.  Did you first read about my blog through your submission form?   I don’t really have any other details then what I expressed in my blog.  What else would you be looking for, exactly?

Thanks,
-Eric

.seitilibasid gninrael fo nuf ekam ot ynnuf ton yllaer s’tI

And, this was the response:

From: “Jeremy.Sipes@americansignature.com”
To: Eric Carroll
Sent: Tue, April 26, 2011
Subject: Re: Blog about couch buying experience…

I just wanted to make sure to reach out to you regarding your experience in the store. I apologize for your experience with one of our sales people. I will be in contact with store management in order to address your concerns. I am glad that you found furniture that you are happy with, it is just unfortunate that you were not able to so with our store.

If you need anything going forward, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Thanks for your time

Jeremy Sipes
American Signature Inc.
Customer Service Coordinator
1-800-743-4577
1-614-449-4351

Again, there’s not too much to do at this point, is there?  Although, they did have some cool pop-bottle looking bar-stools there…

Heh.  Twitter is also a powerful tool:

http://twitter.com/#!/dfwfurniture/status/62486421889486848

http://twitter.com/#!/ValueCityFurn/status/62885704874721281

http://twitter.com/#!/ValueCityFurn/status/62885852690399234

Couches


Well, if you read about our couch buying experience and were at all curious, here are some crappy photos from my cell phone:

New Couch

Klaussner Couch

New Love Seat

Klaussner Love Seat

I like they stripey pillows on the love seat, they came with the set. I don’t think Bethany likes ’em though. We bought the pillows that are on the couch from Kohl’s, but they’re a pretty good match.

Adventures in Couch-Buying


So, the wife & I been saving to buy a new couch & loveseat for quite a while. We’ve been very casually looking at furniture stores since last October.  Retail sales people in general really bother me.  I tense up when they approach.  It’s impossible to walk into any furniture store & browse without a sales person being on you like white on rice.  I have an issue with the titles too.  They never call themselves sales people.  It’s always “associate” or “specialist” or “floor manager” or “Archduke of Ass-cushions”.  You’re there to sell furniture and make commission, not to help me with the interior design in my house or really even to sell me what fits my needs.  You want to up-sell as much as possible.  I know that, you know that… why can’t you admit that you know I know it?  Pardon me, I’m getting ahead of myself.

At Levin’s they weren’t interested in showing us anything other than the most expensive couches.  Once they got an idea of our budget, they weren’t interested.  Roomful Express was a veritable pressure cooker with a “buy it now because we’re going out of business” style sales pitch.  So, no warranty then?  Ikea is great, and we love the place for other reasons, but none of the couches that we saw on our last few trips fit our style and budget.  Big Lots had some affordable furniture, but the couch we had considered there only came in one awful orange-tinted brown… and it just brought poop to mind.

That brings us to the events of tonight.  We had passed by the DFW on Rte. 51 a week or so ago, but we decided to check it out.  We had looked at a few of their pieces online and were happy with the price & selection.  We decided to stop at Value City first since it was on the way & we were out looking.  The plan was to look around at Value City, check DFW in person, and if we needed to hit Value City on the way home, we could do that.  We could not have had two more divergent experiences.  I will mention sales persons’ names below, as it’s my intent to contact both Value City & DFW with the details of our experiences.  They both need to know what’s going on in their stores, good & bad.

As we were walking up to the door at Value City, we could see a young sales guy looking out the front window directly at us as if we couldn’t also see him.  He ran out of our view to his left, not unlike a puppy running to get some treats.  I said to Bethany “Wow, this guy’s going to be all over us before we’re even in the door.”  I was wrong.  Another sales guy was on us as soon as we were in the door.  He appeared like Batman disappears in the movies & cartoons.  I really have no idea where this guy came from.  He was just there.  I say “sales guy”, but he called himself a “floor designer”, commented on Bethany’s Penguins hoodie, and introduced himself as Bill.  Bill asked what we were looking for, we said couches, and he gave is a well-rehearsed (read: tired) spiel about how we were “here for two things; eye appeal and butt appeal”.  Things like “it’s got to be comfortable”, “sit on it, jump on it, relax”, “microfiber is just a fancy way of saying 100% polyester” were said.  Also, there were mentions of how their parent company owns Big Lots and DHL and a few other companies… which have absolutely no bearing on me buying furniture.  I’m not impressed with image.  Cheesy, but at that, he let us off to browse on our own.  We made our way up the first aisle, down the second, and were on the way up the third when Bill caught us again.  Along the way, we saw two couch/loveseat sets that we really considered purchasing.  We had our mind set on one because it was comfortable and within our budget and we were frankly just in the mood to finally purchase a couch this evening.  When Bill caught up to us the second time, we may have confused him, as we talked in passing to another family who had just walked in the front door.  Bill proceeded to introduce himself to us and give the same “eye appeal and rear appeal” into the “microfiber=polyester” speech that we had just heard less than ten minutes earlier.  As we were just into the third aisle, we were beginning to realize that most of this furniture was above our budget… so the plan was to walk through quickly.  Bill caught us by a rather ugly yet comfy reclining sofa that was ridiculously priced and begged us to sit in it.  We obliged.  Then Bill proceeded to tell is that we may recognize him from TV as he’s the “furniture doctor” (or something to that effect) on KDKA.  He also said that he sold this same couch to Tyler Kennedy & Max Talbot, then named some Steelers for good measure.  This is where my mind was made up that we wouldn’t be buying anything from Value City.  I don’t care who else has the same couch as me, and these local sports heroes will never be sitting on my couch… so it really is irrelevant.  Also… I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but just looking at us, he should have known that the couch in question was way out of our price range.  I would like to make it clear that the only reason that we didn’t buy a couch from Value City this evening is Bill Crewson.  I found him to be pretentious, pompous, and obnoxious.  We escaped Bill’s sales pitch of doom, and had a discussion around the first corner.  My wife agreed with my assessment and decided that worst-case scenario, we would come back & deal with a different sales associate because Bill was not getting a dime of commission from us.  We promptly headed to the door.  Bill again appeared out of nowhere and handed us a business card as we were on the way out the door, title being “Home Furnishing Consultant”.  Get your title/position straight, Bill.  Consistency is a good thing.  As soon as we got home, I fired up Firefox and Googled the bejesus out of Bill’s name on KDKA’s website.  I can find no mention of Bill by name or by “furniture doctor” or “couch doctor” or whatever he called himself (or anywhere else on the web).  If someone knows Tyler Kennedy or Max Talbot, tell them to call me to talk about their couches.

Next, we went to DFW.  The experience there was as refreshing as Value City was exasperating.  We weren’t immediately pounced upon when we walked in the door.  After we had made our was across the front of the store, we were casually approached by a Mr. Matt Walker.  He asked us what we wanted, and what our needs were.  He explained what they had, how the discounts worked if you bought outright vs. a payment plan, and set us free to roam around the store.  Still reeling from Value City, I thanked Matt for being the first sales person in a furniture store that wasn’t so far up my rear-end that they were looking out my mouth.  He laughed like he hears that a lot.  Bethany & I were able to take our time, look at the prices, sit on the couches… and we again found two sets that we liked and that fit our budget.  The one didn’t come in any different colors, so we happily picked the other, and we had to seek out Matt to let him know that we were ready to make a purchase.  To not be hovered over, or approached a second time with some sort of practiced sales pitch, or to not be only shown the most expensive pieces on the floor was a huge deal.  Happily, the set we wanted was well under budget at the advertised price.  Not only that, but we got a discount for paying for it all at once.  There was also another deeper discount because the floor model was the only one left.  We looked it over, were satisfied with the condition and quality and went with it.  We did purchase a reasonably priced protection plan for the cushions and there was a standard delivery fee… and we were still under the advertised price for the set.  I urge anyone in the Pittsburgh area looking for cheap quality furniture to seek out Matt Walker (Store Manager) at DFW on Rte. 51.  DFW should send all of their managers and sales persons to Matt to be trained.  They would be wise to pick up his tactics and demeanor.  The delivery is set for tomorrow, I’ll have to pop up a photo and let you know how that goes!

Double-feature flier & its inspiration:


So, I made a flier for an upcoming show.  Haven’t done one in a while.  I tried to stay sort-of true to the source…

02/05/2011 @ Excuses - The Hang Lows & Ernie and the Berts!

GRINDHOUSE POSTER

Food Allergy News, the good kind…


OK, so my last Food Allergy post was a little sad, disheartening, and rant-like.  Hopefully this one will be the Yang to the others Yin.  (Or is that Yin to the others Yang?)

I’d like to share some good news in the form of links, and a little commentary…

http://twitter.com/#!/AllergyEats/status/17239393752322048

http://twitter.com/#!/FoodAllergy/status/17567884217683969

  • FAAN | The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Management Act – Finally, the FAAMA bill has passed, and is expected to be signed into law.  This will hopefully prevent events like the ones surrounding Katelyn’s death from happening in the future by making sure schools are more educated on the subject, and more equipped to deal with similar situations.  Sadly, it’s a voluntary policy and not a mandatory one.

http://twitter.com/#!/AiXeLsyD13/status/17572685122895872

Tyson Foods, Inc. & Willie Barber FTW.


Yesterday, I got two surprises in our mailbox… One being that half of it was our neighbor’s mail, and the other being the promised letter & coupons from Mrs. Barber at Tyson  Foods!  OK, the mail mix-up wasn’t that big of a surprise… that happens at least 4 times a week.  It’s always good to get mail that’s not bills or junk mail though, and this made my day…

Tyson Foods - LetterSeems a little stiff compared to my earlier exchanges, but form letters are a necessary evil with a company as large as Tyson I guess.

Also enclosed were five  coupons for free Tyson Foods items!  Two coupons for one free bag of Tyson Frozen Breaded Product or Any’tizers Product, one for any one package of Tyson Individually Frozen Chicken Product, one for any one package of Tyson Wright Brand, and one for any one package of Wright Brand Product… which makes some awesome bacon.

Tyson coupons

This is much much more than I expected, or could have hoped for!  Really, it all started out as goofing around, not a complaint by any means.  It’s certainly better than the paltry pile of coupons that I received from Pillsbury when asking about funding further “how many pizza rolls can really fit in the microwave at once” research.  I let the ball drop on that one… perhaps I better write to them and ask again, using Tyson and Taco Bell as references of good coupon giving.

I’ll have to write back to Willie to say thanks.  This really was quite generous, and will certainly help in stretching the food budget in the coming weeks!

It’s a Southern thing, just ask Willie.


Tyson Foods | Ask Willie

Tyson Foods | Ask Willie

So, my apologies to Mrs. Barber, apparently Willie is also a girl’s name down south.  Ha ha.  You guys need to read my letter to Tyson about the soggy not smelly tiger-tender, and you’ll know what this is all about.  Here’s some follow-up…

from    ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
to    “Barber, Willie” <Willie.Barber@tyson.com>
date    Sat, Oct 2, 2010
subject    Re: Tyson Honey Battered Breast Tenders
mailed-by    gmail.com

Buenos Dias Mr. Barber!

Thank you for taking the time to reply to my missive.  I’m glad that it entertained and proved interesting!  The information from your Food Safety & Quality Assurance Manager is enlightening.  I guess if I had thought about it, I may have arrived to the same conclusion… as my wife did.  Perhaps she should look into Quality Assurance as a career?

Sadly there was no golden ticket type prize for the tiger-tender, but certainly some complimentary coupons would brighten my day.  Your thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated!  My address is:

ERiC AiXelsyD
XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Pittsburgh, PA  XXXXX

I still need to look into sending Duquesne Light a bill for my prematurely perished perishables, perhaps cluing them in to your generosity will tip the scales in my favor?  Maybe I should send them the tiger-tender and see if they like soggy formerly-frozen foodstuffs in their freezers.

I’m flattered that you had previously read my ramblings on the web, and honored that you remembered my name!  Now I’m curious as to how I came to be on your radar.  I tend to be goofy at times, and serious at others.  Life’s all about balance… why not enjoy the balance when it swings to the absurd?  Your kind of reply is my favorite.  You may not be surprised ad how many of these types of emails fail in providing a response.  Some people are apparently just too uptight!

I enjoy many of your fine products, and now will even more… and I’ll recommend more to my friends & family!

A good day to you sir,
-ERiC AiXeLsyD

PS – Think there’s any headway at all to be made with Arby’s & the distribution of their Bronco Berry Sauce?

And, she wrote back…

from    Barber, Willie <Willie.Barber@tyson.com>
to    ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
date    Mon, Oct 4, 2010
subject    RE: Tyson Honey Battered Breast Tenders
mailed-by    tyson.com

Happy Monday Morning!

As I recall, I chanced upon your name/blog while researching one of our customers—maybe McDonald’s, Burger King, or Subway?   Thanks for the address–the coupons will be mailed tomorrow.

By the way, I am a Mrs. not a Mr.  It’s a Southern thing!  AskWillie

Willie Barber

So, she’s read one of my various diatribes on Subway or my disdain for a nearby McDonald’s.  Quite amusing!  I don’t think I’ve messed with Buger King for a long time.

It is sad that she hasn’t addressed the Bronco Berry sauce issue, but I’m sure she can’t or won’t for corporate reasons.

I wrote back once more:

from    ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
to    “Barber, Willie” <Willie.Barber@tyson.com>
date    Mon, Oct 4, 2010
subject    Re: Tyson Honey Battered Breast Tenders
mailed-by    gmail.com

My Apologies, Mrs. Barber(!),

I guess I should have done my own research!  Ha ha.

I have certainly blogged extensively about a local McDonald’s who is as slovenly as they are slothful, and another who is run exceptionally well and always seems to be clean, efficient, and orderly.  Plus, McDonald’s is just so fun to poke.

I also have an ongoing thing with Subway about their seafood subs and cross-contamination.  I have a severe shellfish allergy, and find them quite irresponsible as far as posting warnings, using the same knife to cut all their subs, and in replying to their customers.  Perhaps you ought to go over there and teach them how to run things!  They never did answer my question about having an in-house subway instead of a cafeteria or kitchen in their corporate offices.  No sense of humor or customer satisfaction, there!

Thanks again for the coupons, my wife & I both appreciate the gesture!

Tyson’s Newest #1 Fan,
-ERiC

…and no reply as of yet, not that I really need one in this instance.  This was just some shameless plugging.  I’m just waiting for my awesome coupons.

Also… if you follow the Ask Willie link, is that the coolest job description, or what?

Hungry for Knowledge as well as Chicken Tenders…


So, not long ago, we got some of those bagged Tyson breast tenders. They’re a nice quick meal, and generally consistently good quality.  Although, in talking with Dave who serves them quite regularly, he seems to not find any of the “odd” ones that I mention below.  Do you get odd ones?  I’d like to open up discussion.

I opened an amusing dialog with Tyson, and here’s how it’s panned out so far:

Peace, Poultry Potentates!

Recently, my wife brought home a bag of your delicious Honey Battered Breast Tenders.  I must say that they are the perfect dinner solution when we are pressed for time or just plain don’t feel like cooking.  I generally over-indulge because the breading/batter is so delicious when cooked in the oven, and I thoroughly enjoy dipping things… whether it be in Honey Mustard, Honey BBQ, just plain ketchup, A1, or a nugget-dipping sauce pilfered (I mean “left over”) from one of the many fast food chains.

On a side note… I really wish Arby’s would bottle & sell their Bronco Berry Sauce®.  Perhaps you can talk to them about that?  It’s EXCELLENT on chicken nuggets or tenders.  Maybe you’d have better luck with McDonald’s getting their nugget sauces in stores?  Didn’t you guys provide them with the not-quite-Chick-fil-A sandwich?

Too many tangents, my friends.  My mind wanders.  Well, not so much wanders as jumping randomly from thought to seemingly unconnected thought.  I assure you though… I do have a point in writing to you today.

I would like to see if I have won some sort of prize, or made some sort of amazing discovery.  Upon opening the most recently purchased bag of Honey Battered Breast Tenders [Mfg. Code 2390CNQ0610] to place on a baking sheet (covered in foil because I hate to clean up), out came this wild tiger-striped breast tender.  If this were an email, I would simply attach my photos, but it’s not, and I can’t… so I will provide you with a link to the photographic evidence on Photobucket:

http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p139/worldandlunardomination/creepy%20tyson%20chicken%20thing/Tiger-StripedNuggetThing1640w.jpg

http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p139/worldandlunardomination/creepy%20tyson%20chicken%20thing/Tiger-StripedNuggetThing2640w.jpg

These photos were taken of the tender just as it was after being pulled out of the bag, I did not cook this tender.

You can see that one side of the tender is more striped than the other.  Surely, I have made an amazing discovery.  Is this like Charlie Bucket’s golden ticket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?  Do I get a free tour of your facility now?  That would be quite exciting.  Quite exciting indeed!  I must confess that I don’t typically stay up on current poultry-related events, so I haven’t seen anything about the contest.  I was unaware on how to proceed, so I figured that I would reach out to you.

I found this “deviant” to be exceptional.  Generally, there’s the accepted and expected amount of 2 or 3 “off” breast tenders to a pack.  This isn’t the usual overcooked/brown one, a non-fully coated one, the mysterious black spot one, or the “Siamese twin” one(s?).  (I saw these machines on the Food Network or History Channel one time… where this laser shot odd-colored potato chips out of the line.  Perhaps you ought to look into borrowing one over a weekend to see if it works out on your line?)

I immediately placed the chicken tender with war paint into a plastic freezer-bag and placed it back in the freezer.  I can certainly send it to you upon request, although I’m not sure where to obtain dry ice for safe shipping.

Also, there was a ridiculously short yet violent storm in the area last week that knocked out our power for two days.  Most everything else in the freezer and refrigerator ended up in our trash cans because our power company doesn’t understand the importance of a solid infrastructure quite like it should.  (Our power has gone out for more than 24 hours on three separate occasions this year alone.)

I kept the tiger-tender, and did open the Ziploc® bag to take a whiff.  It’s definitely not rancid, but it did get to a point where it was more soggy than frozen.  I have considered sending a bill for my wasted food (including about 1/2 the bag of Tyson Honey Battered Breast Tenders) to Duquesne Light, but am unsure of the legality.

Well, my de-feathered friends, I thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon regarding this rare specimen.  I wait with hardly contained excitement, much to my wife’s dismay.  For some strange reason, she thinks that the zebra-tender is just a fluke, and not a prize winning game-piece, or as I had suggested one night while sitting in the dark… Perhaps it’s a new top secret flavor, unveiled in a covert manner to the masses.  Help me prove that I’m right!

Hungry for Knowledge as well as Chicken Tenders,
-ERiC AiXeLsyD

And, the photos…

Tiger-Striped Nugget Thing 1Tiger-Striped Nugget Thing 2

I submitted it via webform, and didn’t get any immediate responses… so of course, I Googled some “@tyson.com” email addresses until I came up with a few. Luckily, it worked!

from Barber, Willie <Willie.Barber@tyson.com>
to ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
date Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 6:13 PM
subject Tyson Honey Battered Breast Tenders
mailed-by tyson.com

Hello, ERiC AiXeLsyD:

Thank you for a very entertaining and interesting message!  The pictures were very helpful.

The Food Safety & Quality Assurance Manager at the processing plant reviewed the picture of the “tiger tender”  and its compadre.   She related that the stripes are overcooked batter in crevices caused by the wire conveyor belt.  Sometimes when the batter is too thin, the wire belt will make “ridges” on the tenders.  Because the batter is thin, it cooked up darker compared to the rest of the batter on the tender.  The sugar in the honey also adds to a darker color profile. She also related that the other picture looked like there wasn’t enough batter or it popped off during freezing or packing.

So, it appears that the tiger tender and the rare specimen are simply suffering from the lack of batter–nothing interesting or covert!   Send me your postal address and I will send some complimentary coupons to help your Hunger for Chicken Tenders.

Best regards,

Willie D. Barber
Manager, Consumer Relations

PS  Some time ago while researching on the web, I happened to visit your blog and became intrigued with your name.   Surprisingly, I recognized it when your message was forwarded to me.  You are certainly a multi-talented person!

Couldn’t have asked for a better response. Ha ha ha. Not only did they write back, but they took it seriously, and it looks like I may get some free stuff or at least a coupon!  Bonus points for the use of the word compadre, even if there was no mention of McDonald’s and/or Arby’s.

Also… the PS?  I’m famous? Ha ha ha. I wonder where/how Mr. Barber previously came across my ramblings?  I didn’t think that many people read this thing.

Oh well, now I need to write back… but I’d still like to know about the odd ones.  Be it chicken tenders, pizza rolls, any frozen food… isn’t there generally always an odd one or two?

Peace, Poultry Potentates!

Recently, my wife brought home a bag of your delicious Honey Battered Breast Tenders.  I must say that they are the perfect dinner solution when we are pressed for time or just plain don't feel like cooking.  I generally over-indulge because the breading/batter is so delicious when cooked in the oven, and I thoroughly enjoy dipping things... whether it be in Honey Mustard, Honey BBQ, just plain ketchup, A1, or a nugget-dipping sauce pilfered (I mean "left over") from one of the many fast food chains.  

On a side note... I really wish Arby's would bottle & sell their Bronco Berry Sauce®.  Perhaps you can talk to them about that?  It's EXCELLENT on chicken nuggets or tenders.  Maybe you'd have better luck with McDonald's getting their nugget sauces in stores?  Didn't you guys provide them with the not-quite-Chick-fil-A sandwich?

Too many tangents, my friends.  My mind wanders.  Well, not so much wanders as jumping randomly from thought to seemingly unconnected thought.  I assure you though... I do have a point in writing to you today.

I would like to see if I have won some sort of prize, or made some sort of amazing discovery.  Upon opening the most recently purchased bag of Honey Battered Breast Tenders [Mfg. Code 2390CNQ0610] to place on a baking sheet (covered in foil because I hate to clean up), out came this wild tiger-striped breast tender.  If this were an email, I would simply attach my photos, but it's not, and I can't... so I will provide you with a link to the photographic evidence on Photobucket:





These photos were taken of the tender just as it was after being pulled out of the bag, I did not cook this tender.

You can see that one side of the tender is more striped than the other.  Surely, I have made an amazing discovery.  Is this like Charlie Bucket's golden ticket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?  Do I get a free tour of your facility now?  That would be quite exciting.  Quite exciting indeed!  I must confess that I don't typically stay up on current poultry-related events, so I haven't seen anything about the contest.  I was unaware on how to proceed, so I figured that I would reach out to you.

I found this "deviant" to be exceptional.  Generally, there's the accepted and expected amount of 2 or 3 "off" breast tenders to a pack.  This isn't the usual overcooked/brown one, a non-fully coated one, the mysterious black spot one, or the "Siamese twin" one(s?).  (I saw these machines on the Food Network or History Channel one time... where this laser shot odd-colored potato chips out of the line.  Perhaps you ought to look into borrowing one over a weekend to see if it works out on your line?)

I immediately placed the chicken tender with war paint into a plastic freezer-bag and placed it back in the freezer.  I can certainly send it to you upon request, although I'm not sure where to obtain dry ice for safe shipping.

Also, there was a ridiculously short yet violent storm in the area last week that knocked out our power for two days.  Most everything else in the freezer and refrigerator ended up in our trash cans because our power company doesn't understand the importance of a solid infrastructure quite like it should.  (Our power has gone out for more than 24 hours on three separate occasions this year alone.)  

I kept the tiger-tender, and did open the Ziploc® bag to take a whiff.  It's definitely not rancid, but it did get to a point where it was more soggy than frozen.  I have considered sending a bill for my wasted food (including about 1/2 the bag of Tyson Honey Battered Breast Tenders) to Duquesne Light, buy am unsure of the legality.

Well, my de-feathered friends, I thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon regarding this rare specimen.  I wait with hardly contained excitement, much to my wife's dismay.  For some strange reason, she thinks that the zebra-tender is just a fluke, and not a prize winning game-piece, or as I had suggested one night while sitting in the dark... Perhaps it's a new top secret flavor, unveiled in a covert manner to the masses.  Help me prove that I'm right!

Hungry for Knowledge as well as Chicken Tenders,
-ERiC AiXeLsyD